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Development News

Province surveying land slated for new downtown courthouse

Future site of new downtown courthouse.

Last month’s Ontario budget contained another promise to build a new downtown courthouse that would consolidate as many as five locations into a single facility.
“The new facility will enable more effective and responsive delivery of justice services and increase access to social justice programs in the city,” states the budget document.
Brendan Crawley with the communications branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General told Yonge Street Media that the ministry and Infrastructure Ontario have “begun working with a consultant to conduct surveys, environmental assessments and soil testing on the site. At this point, decisions about which specific court locations will be included in the courthouse have not been made.”
The province is using Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) for the project which may give the contract to design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) to a private firm, with the request for qualifications happening in summer 2016, followed by the selection of short-list bidders and a request for proposals. “While it’s too soon to give precise timelines, other similar Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) courthouses have taken five to seven years to build and become fully operational,” says Crawley.
One thing that’s pretty much certain is the location—a government-owned, 1.63-acre site bounded by Chestnut Street, Dundas Street West, Centre Avenue and Armoury Street. Currently a parking lot, it’s directly north of the Superior Court of Justice at 361 University Avenue. The judges, lawyers and other courthouse staff there will hardly have to adjust their commutes.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Brendan Crawley
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